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Recently I attended the Reasons to be Creative festival in Brighton. After scribbling down numerous notes, I have tried to summarise some of the inspiring, sometimes obvious pointers, I took away from the festival.

Day 2:

Bjarke Myrthu held a session about “The future of Digital Content”, which should have been called “Digital Content you might not have seen, that’s out there”. Bjarke basically showed websites which gave an overall experience using various elements, rather than your run-of-the-mill site.

First off was the Getty Moodstream, where you can adjust sliders to stream music and imagery based on how you’re feeling. Next up was “Storming Juno“, which gave you a 360 platform which you can interactive with…watching video, while viewing screenshots and playing with different menus- a very cool interactive site.

Next was the Jenifer Concert website , which is another interactive experience where you use sound to guide you to help Jenifer who has been kidnapped.

Being from London, many of us will have seen the “Choose A different Ending” Youtube project, which is an anti-knife crime campaign. Depending on your choices, the outcomes of certain youthful scenarios can end up very tragic. Have a go yourself here.

Finally Bjarke was keen to impress that building blocks, audio, video, interviews, screenshots etc, in an interface that ties it all together, gives a better experience. He is starting his own website called Storyplanet, which utilises these ideals to provide interactive content to keep viewers’ interest in powerful stories. The beta version is currently live here to give you a taster.

Jennifer Farley is an illustrator who spends a lot of time away from the computer before beginning her work, to get inspiration. Her opening line helped us understand her viewpoint, where she mentioned Dorothea Lange’s quote “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera”. This was further backed up by Ansel Adams, who said “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

Jennifer takes inspiration from all sorts of mediums. The one I associated with most is something I sometimes look to, which are movies posters and in particular the title sequences during the opening credits of a movie. Jennifer showed a reel she had put together of this, some I like and find very cool are “Catch me if you can“, “Casino Royale“, “Spider-Man 2“, “The Kingdom”  and “Se7en“, amongst others.

Farley finished by summarising with an inspirational quote by Jawaharlal Nehru: “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open”

Sara Blake ran a session beautifully titled “The Art of F*cking Up”. She goes by the alter ego of Zso, she has great illustration work which you can view here. She began with a quote by Pema Chodron, didn’t have time to grab it, but I’ve researched a few and this one sounds applicable: “Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.”

Sara shared her life experience of growing as an illustrator and winning pitches, whilst pretty much winging it all the way. However, as a result she has a 10 step plan which she embraces to ensure she gets the best out of her work and also satisfies the client:

1. Minimal or no sketching
2. Watercolour- always useful to give elements you can’t paint in digitally.
3. Digital Texture- collects her own library of textures to composite into her work.
4. Documenting Process- take pictures of everything you do as you’re doing it, so you can even look back and say this was better three steps ago.
5. Accepting (embracing) rejection- stuff used for pitches/that gets rejected can still get you future work.
6. Share + Relinquish Control- Check the Run Your Jewels site- uploading source files that people can adapt/change and re-upload.
7. Try not to get sentimental- you become too attached.
8. Collaborate- Zso has often done this to improve her work and was lucky enough to work with the infamous Joshua Davis.
9. Rinse and repeat- Zso used this process for her project “100 Girls“. where she repeated the same process till she got it right…and then perfected it.
10. Scribble- keep journals of work and ideas.

Zso finished by outlining a 5-step plan to success, or in other words a plan that had worked for her, through trial and error:

1. Do things for no reason.
2. Live in the present.
3. Make a plan. F*ck the plan.
4. Don’t beat yourself up.
5. Separate work from money.

Lernert & Sander were just about the most bonkers people I have ever seen. They make crazy videos for clients and think very out of the box. Their website shows all their work, most of which is great and makes you think about subjects in a different manner. There is nothing more that needs to be said about these guys as they’re clearly very talented. However, what stuck with me from their seminar most, was a piece called “Chocolate Bunny”. This was an advert with the purpose of showing children they can’t always have what they want. The commercial was broadcast just the once during a children’s TV slot time and you will see why…I’m surprised it passed ad regulations in the first place, it wouldn’t in this country! Watch the ad here.

There are Reasons to be Creative after all! Day 1